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Perspectives

Well-being done well

Reimagining and managing innate human needs during a transformation

In this episode, three Deloitte Consulting LLP leaders provide insights on how organizations can support new levels of innovation while addressing transformation-related stress on the workforce.

Effectively shifting from a “built to last” enterprise to a “built to evolve” Kinetic Enterprise™ will require organizations to step up in unprecedented ways, not the least of which is bold-thinking leaders with the commitment, dedication and long-term vision to bring the transformation to life. But such impactful strategies are destined to fail without equally bold and dedicated teams of people driving them, who regularly work against timelines, budgets and big expectations.

Well-being and The Age of With

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has seen the rise of AI, machine learning and robotics, and sparked conversations of new technology actually being competitors for valuable jobs. To that Jennifer Fisher, Chief Well-being Officer, Deloitte US, offers “There is and will always be a role for the human.” She encourages recognition and celebration of human traits – compassion, creativity, vulnerability, empathy – as one part of a symbiotic relationship with technology, and cautions “people must take care of ourselves (think: sleeping, exercising, eating well) if we are to do anything well.”

Darwin Deano, Global SAP Chief Technology Officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP, agrees and offers that leaders must remember transformations are about “empowering, elevating, unleashing” human beings and their potential, and resist the urge to get “lost in the gloss” of technology. It’s an idea Nishita Henry, Chief Innovation Officer, Deloitte US, seconds, drawing upon The Age of With concept: Let machines work on what is routine so humans can focus on creating connections and personalization, while also adapting, and reskilling – a shift towards “work to learn” and away from “learn to work.”

The heartbeat of a transformation: Human beings

Transformations are dedicated to driving efficiency and savings into the business with amazing technology. And while incredibly important, for Deano, a large portion of the effort during a project should be on people. To his mind, that means affording people’s well-being the same respect and importance as any other project objective, and even going so far as to give it metrics. Fisher takes it a step further and says “well-being needs to be embedded into the way we work, part of the everyday, so it’s not an afterthought or layered on top of what we do.”

Henry issues a call to action for leaders: Be more realistic “in the objectives you set, the timelines and the schedules you commit to, the resources you dedicate.” Recognize that doing more with less has a human impact, and be clear that while some projects will take longer and might cost more, it is in the best interest of the team.

The COVID-19 crisis as a well-being accelerator

Well-being has an enormous impact on the future of work, Henry says, and more pointedly on the where, when, and how. In forcing global work-from-home arrangements, COVID-19 became an accelerator of those elements, particularly since the potential for burnout is very real as people adjust to unprecedented working situations in an ‘always on’ environment.

And it has exposed an authenticity that she believes is a good thing, an idea Fisher builds on with a quality-over-quantity caution: “Give everybody permission to not turn on their webcam.” Deano supports both ideas and adds that leaders and managers must “respect the boundaries as unique to the person, that they are in flux, and to keep moving forward.”

As a final thought, all three leaders concurred with a single clear idea: Support of innately human needs and qualities are rapidly becoming a critical part of any digital transformation. As enterprises transform to be more agile, evolutionary and forward-thinking, so too must be the initiatives for the people driving them forward.

Want more transformation insights from enterprise leaders? Visit deloitte.com/SAP to download future podcast episodes or listen to previous ones.

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